16th century adventurer Michael Ingleby (Laurence Olivier)goes undercover as a dead traitor to foil a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth (Flora Robson). Vivien Leigh plays Cynthia, an absent-minded lady-in-waiting who makes the aging monarch jealous when she falls for the young Ingleby.
Flora Robson .... Queen Elizabeth I of England
Raymond Massey .... King Philip II of Spain
Leslie Banks .... 'Robin', the Earl of Leicester
Laurence Olivier .... Michael Ingolby
Vivien Leigh .... Cynthia
Morton Selten .... Lord Burleigh
Tamara Desni .... Elena
Lyn Harding .... Sir Richard Ingolby
George Thirlwell .... Mr. Lawrence Gregory
Henry Oscar .... Spanish Ambassador
Robert Rendel .... Don Miguel (as Robert Rendell)
Robert Newton .... Don Pedro
Donald Calthrop .... Don Escobal
Charles Carson .... Adm. Valdez
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Evelyn Ankers .... Lady-in-Waiting (uncredited)
Noel Brophy .... Irishman (uncredited)
Graham Cheswright .... Mr. Joseph Maddison (uncredited)
Francis De Wolff .... Sir James Tarleton (uncredited)
Howard Douglas .... Lord Amberley (uncredited)
Pam Downing .... Courtier (uncredited)
Franklin Dyall .... (uncredited)
A. Corney Grain .... Hatton (uncredited)
Laurence Hanray .... French Ambassador (uncredited)
Herbert Lomas .... (uncredited)
Cecil Mainwaring .... Lord Illingworth (uncredited)
James Mason .... Hillary Vane (uncredited)
Roy Russell .... Sir Humphrey Cooper (uncredited)
Norma Varden .... Elena's Governess (uncredited)
April 29, 2011 Subject:
The real thing
"...it takes a little effort to really get into this movie.The first half an hour is a little boring."
"It's probably a good movie though, but i don't know why."
What makes the quality of this movie is that the writers spent time on character development, which is nearly a lost art in this modern age of car chases, instant gratification, and short attention spans. The focus is not so much on the action as it is on the people: on who they are, and why they are doing what they do. All the best stories, the ones that stand the test of time, put their attention on the characters, and tell how all the action and events influence and shape their lives.
Ordinary moviemaking treats the screen like a window, leaving the audience to watch the action through it from the outside. Real moviemaking, like real storytelling, invites and draws the audience into the story and makes them part of it. One of the ways to do that is to portray sufficient emotion that the characters come alive, so that they feel like real people.
This movie does all of those things. Definitely a keeper. Thanks for uploading it.
Reviewer:krishna kumar menon
February 3, 2011 Subject:
Pre-view to The Sea Hawk
Any fan of Errol Flynn will not fail to observe the touches that Michael Curtiz and WB absorbed from this British Gem to make the classic Sea Hawk.
This film stands the test of time and Flora Robson once again (or should I say by her first portrayal of the character) makes us relive the reign of England's first 'Finest Hour" in history ( which repeated itself in WW2). I don't think any of us who have seen this flick and also Sea Hawk will not have her etched in their memories as the cool, domineering, and nothing but "The Queen" amidst her loyal subjects taking on the then invincible Philip of Spain, (also superbly pplayed by that under rated Canadian actor Raymond Massey).
The AEW Mason book comes alive with vivid scenarios and acting but the production values as of any British films of the era is modest to say the least though Sir Alexander Korda was at the helm.
Sir Olivier seems a little embarrassed when he is singing and the lovely Leigh has little to do. The real performance comes from Tamara Desni as Eleana - a thoroughly under rated performance.
I recommend this to any youth of the day in High School who is a student of history and also as an entertainer. This film and That Hamilton Woman according to some film buffs was Sir Winston Churchills favorite.
Absolutely First Class.
December 4, 2009 Subject:
Huzzah - a Stirring Recitation!
"My people, I am come to live or die amongst you, all. To lay down for my God, and for my kingdom and for my people, my honor and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and valor of a king, and of a king of England, too. Not Spain, nor any prince of Europe shall dare to invade the borders of my realm. Buck up your hearts. By your peace and camp and your valor in the field we shall shortly have a famous victory."
December 1, 2009 Subject:
A wonderful British production of the reign of Queen Elizabeth and the destruction of the Spanish Armado. Laurence Olivier and Vivian Leigh are exceptional. The film itself is in great condition as is the sound. A very enjoyable movie!
October 25, 2009 Subject:
The acting was flawless. The script did take some time to get to the action, but there were so many things that lead up to the sinking of the Armada that it took some time to introduce them. Small things turned out to be important to those who watch for them.
Lawrence Olivier was so very good looking (he wasn't very tall which I had forgotten). Vivian Leah was totally beautiful and convincing. She had a way of expressing sincerity that never fails to entertain. She also knew how to pout and to use those eyes to flirt flawlessly.
February 24, 2008 Subject:
it takes some time to get into the flow
This movie is actually excellent,but it takes
a little effort to really get into this movie.The first half an hour is a little boring.
This is a time when one had only a 50% chance
of living past forty.It would tend to make things more important,now we all assume longevity.
September 18, 2007 Subject:
Fans of the movie "Independence Day" will recognize the music playing at points during this movie and especially at the end. I watched this because I had heard of the Olivier-Leigh connection, and they both are good, with Olivier giving a very physical, lithe performance; reportedly he did all his own stunts, and he turns the escape scene into a very harrowing sequence indeed by conveying fear and desperation with every move, even though he has hardly any dialogue at this point and there are very few close shots of his face. But Flora Robson dominates this movie as Queen Elizabeth I and rightly so. The production and the script are excellent, too. The only criticism I could make would be that we aren't really given too much to go on regarding the Queen's attraction to young Ingolby, and there is a noticeable gap between Ingolby's riding off on a horse in one country and suddenly appearing as a common loiterer in another, but at that point emotions are running so strongly and the pace of the movie is so quick, it's not fatal to the story. A very, very good movie.
April 10, 2007 Subject:
It's that old English style of way over the top acting; lots of emotion.
Personally, i think it's corny.
It's probably a good movie though, but i don't know why.
February 2, 2007 Subject:
Korda is the forgotten Spielberg. "Fire over England" is not a costume film. Young Laurence Olivier and good looking Vivian Leigh are brilliant. Good old english film.